RANTS AND RAVES

Sneaking In Quick Exercises

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I cannot stress enough how important taking care of yourself is, no matter what age you're in. For moms specifically, regardless of whether you're out there in the corporate world, doing business, or managing the household full time, physical fitness offers a whole world of good. Not only will it make you feel better about yourself - what with toned abs being the envy of your friends & the apple of your hubby's oggling eyes (LOL) - but it'll also help ensure your body stays in the right condition to keep up with mommy duties.




As Babyzone.com put it, there are major pros you can look at as motivation to keep a regular exercise routine:

- improving or maintaining strength of your bones, joints & muscles

- maintaining a healthy weight

- stimulating mental activity that can help decrease incidence of postpartum depression, anxiety or stress

Joaquin enjoying a "ride" as I do leg raises
Now, you don't have to frustrate over getting a body like Miranda Kerr's (although if you're already there or well on your way, then kudos! *slow clap*), but the idea is to focus on keeping your body within a healthy bubble. Might I mention, I've been dying to finally get into yoga, but obviously I don't have the time for that right now; so I do understand that there can be so many limitations that can easily discourage getting yourself to do any deliberate exercising. While you may not be able to afford a gym membership or your own gym equipment - financially, time-wise, or both - I believe all you need to have is the will & determination! *wink*

You can easily start by trying these out at home - they take less than 30 minutes a day, I've tried them & noticed actual results after a few months. The neat thing is you can even do some of the exercises with your baby or little tot for extra fun!

1) Kegel Exercise
If you were pretty conscious about exercising when you were still pregnant, you might've heard this suggestion from your OB or read up on it already. This strengthens your pelvic floor & can be done practically while you doing anything else - sitting while cuddling with your kiddo, standing in front of the sink doing the dishes, or just watching TV. All you have to do is tighten up the muscle that you use when you try to control your pee. Hold for 5 counts, relax, then repeat for 1 minute.

2) Simple Calf Raises
*You can totally do this even while carrying or wearing your baby, the added weight actually increases resistance to improve the effectiveness.

Stand straight with your abdominal pulled in, legs apart slightly wider than your hips. Lift your heels so that you're on your tiptoes. Hold the position for 5 counts, and lower back down. Repeat for 1 minute. 


3) Squats
This one can be done while you're waiting for that broth to simmer, or while your blow drying your hair, or just waiting for your coffee maker to do its thing.

squats

Stand in front of a chair with your feet apart, slightly wider than your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles & slowly bend your knees as if to sit. "Tap" your butt on the chair, and stand back up slowly. Repeat for 1 minute. You'll have nicely toned thighs & buttocks in no time.

4) Hip Raises
This does wonders for back strength, which I find very useful since my baby has been gaining weight that it becomes quite challenging to constantly pick him up & carry him for some stretch of time. All you have to do is lie flat on your back, place your feet apart as wide as your shoulders, and slowly lift your hip to a point where your torso becomes parallel with your thighs. Hold the position for 3 - 5 counts, and slowly lower your hip back down. Repeat for 1 minute.

hip raises
I find that the perfect timing for me to fit this little routine in is when Joaquin is in his explorer mode and doesn't mind being left in his playpen to "rearrange" all his toys. His attention is focused elsewhere other than clinging on to me, and I can sneak this in just fine!

I haven't found any particular arm work outs that serve the purpose of fitting into a super hectic mom's schedule, so I won't be able to recommend any at this point. Plus I find that carrying Joaquin around does the job for now. Teehee! Again, the point of these exercises is to be simple enough so they're easy to squeeze into your daily hectic pace & allow you to multi-task while making sure you get your blood pumping, muscles moving & stamina building  - enough to keep up with your li'l one/s! Go ahead and modify them or make your own versions to suit you best.



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